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The Liberated Fly Post by :ramohr Category :Poems Author :Lydia H. Sigourney Date :November 2011 Read :2015

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The Liberated Fly

A Fly was struggling in a vase of ink,
Which with my feathery quill-top I releas'd,
As the rope saves the drowning mariner.
I thought at first the luckless wight was dead,
But mark'd a quivering of the slender limbs,
And laid him on a paper in the sun,
To renovate himself.
With sudden spasm
Convulsion shook him sore, and on his back
Discomfited he lay. Then, by his side
I strew'd some sugar, and upon his breast
Arrang'd a particle, thinking, perchance,
The odour of his favourite aliment
Might stimulate the palate, and uncoil
The folded trunk.
But, straight, a troop of friends
Gather'd around him, and I deem'd it kind
To express their sympathy, in such dark hour
Of adverse fortune. Yet, behold! they came
To forage on his stores, and rudely turn'd
And toss'd him o'er and o'er, to help themselves
With more convenience. Quite incens'd to see
Their utter want of pitying courtesy,
I drove these venal people all away,
And shut a wine-glass o'er him, to exclude
Their coarse intrusion.
Forthwith, they return'd,
And through his palace peer'd, and, round and round
Gadding, admission sought: yet all in vain.
And so, a wondrous buzzing they set up,
As if with envy mov'd to see him there,
The untasted luxury at his very lips,
For which they long'd so much.
Then suddenly,
The prisoner mov'd his head, and rose with pain,
And dragg'd his palsied body slow along,
Marking out sinuous lines, as on a map,
Coast, islet, creek, and lithe promontory,
Blank as the Stygian ink-pool, where he plung'd
So foolishly. But a nice bath was made
In a small silver spoon, from which he rose
Most marvellously chang'd, stretching outright
All his six legs uncramp'd, and, opening wide
And shutting with delight his gauzy wings,
Seem'd to applaud the cleansing properties
Of pure cold water. Then with appetite,
He took the food that he had loath'd before;
And in this renovation of the life
Of a poor noteless insect, was a joy,
And sweet content, I never could have felt
From taking it away.
Still let us guard,
For every harmless creature, God's good gifts
Of breath and being; since each beating heart
Doth hide some secret sense of happiness
Which he who treadeth out can ne'er restore.


(The end)
Lydia H. Sigourney's poem: Liberated Fly

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